October 19, 2018

The Editor Speaks: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or an eye for a tooth?

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Colin WilsonwebIt would be wrong of me to condemn and even more wrong if I was to explode at the opinion and the publicity given to the minority group who want to bring back the death penalty.

Even subscribing to an editorial on the subject is giving publicity to the hardline minority group who even want an eye for a tooth.

The Caymanian Compass produced one of their online and unscientific polls where their readers could vote on what they thought of life sentences.

The poll question was “Should Cayman change its policy of jailing all convicted killers for life?”

Then readers were invited to click on one of four boxes where answers were provided as:

Yes in all cases. Everyone deserves a chance to prove they have changed.

Yes in some cases. Not all murders are equal. Some should have sentences reviewed after 25 years.

No. You take a life, you should give a life.

Other (write in comments)

From this the Compass produced an article claiming that although they “are in a minority, but those advocating restoration of the death penalty are the most vocal, taking a hard line on convicted criminals and lifelong punishment.”

The article went on to claim a reader had responded with a comment “Take a life, give a life.” As that was one of the answers provided, all the respondent had to do was click the box, unless he is saying not a life sentence but death.

Because of the question and the way the answers were written, any of us with the view that bringing back the death penalty for murder would be wrong, it was impossible to click any of the boxes. So our vote was unrecorded.

Quite frankly, the poll’s findings are so flawed, and the headline “Vocal minority want life sentences reviewed” has to be questioned.

One of the comments written by one pollster said:

“Respect another man’s life; think before you leap, you criminals! They must be given ‘hard labour’ and must pay the ultimate price for taking a life! I have no sympathy for these heartless, wicked people. Only in rare cases, if there is proof of self-defence, would I ever consider letting any person go.

“An eye-for-an-eye and a tooth-for-a-tooth! Hang them when the crime is as bad as in Estella Scott’s case. They have no conscience and no heart. They certainly do deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and they deserve to burn in Hell.”

Whilst sympathizing with the writer concerning the Estella Scott case, the emotions that appalling killing invoked in the large majority of us could cloud any judgment from the heart. This is why we have laws and that is why George Zimmerman walked away free. As one of the juror’s from his trial said publically she thinks Zimmerman was morally culpable but not legally guilty.

Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind”.

What would he say to “an eye for a tooth”?

So if a death for a death is right, who has the right to take the eye? Who has the right to send a person to his death?

The only answer is God.

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